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Bad Boy Allen

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  • Bad Boy Allen

    Hiking Allen reminds me of having a second child - you kind of forget how bad the first one hurt. I am definitely NOT working on the grid (after the 115W, my new goal is the "4K a day" which is fun and let's you pick which 4K mountains so you can have some FUN) but joined my friends yesterday for Allen, 2 of whom are working on SSW and one of whom is working on her ADK 46 winter. All super strong hikers. All this to say, this is my 3rd time hiking Allen and though it was "fast" compared to other Allen hikes (I think our last winter hike a few years ago was close to 15 hours as we had to break trail on the slide with a foot of loose snow), it was still grueling for me. I thought Allen might be "fun" now that it was broken out a few days ago (thanks to that group of hardy Allen hikers!) but thanks to tons of blow down, tree "whippets" all along the trail that fling into your face on the tight path, the mileage and the slide itself, it was pretty tough. I was hoping I'd say "I love Allen now" but I think I'm breaking up with Mr. Allen. No matter how you slice it, it's a long slog even with fairly good conditions. We did it in 11:20 - 4 hours to Skylight Brook, 2 hours up the slide (holy moly - even steeper than I remember - but at least the top part is fun!), an hour down (some fun sliding), 4 hours back. Though we almost had a view (which would have been my first) a fog rolled in so we only had views from the slide outwards, not from the actual summit (I'm 0/3 for views). On the bright side, the trail is VERY broken out so if you need Allen, now is the time. Meanwhile, for my SSW friends, I'm hoping a herd of elephants break out the Dixes - next to Allen, I think the Dixes are more fun. For those of you who love Allen, can you list some reasons? I am wiped out today! Congrats to Fiddlehead and co for knocking off a tough one for SSW.
    46R (#7146) ADK, 46W
    48 (NH 4000) + winter
    NE 115 (#706)
    NE Winter 115 (#82)

  • #2
    So we can complain about it.

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    • #3
      I love Allen
      Long Hard Ugly

      My first encounter was in 99, the weekend after hurricane Floyd, HUGE blowdown no trail. went to flowed lands then down Opalecent and bushwhacked for hours. broke 2 fingers.
      Next was a return in 2000 in the fall with ice on the slide.
      You gotta learn to break it up
      I did a traverse of the 4 Macs down Herbert brook,around flowed lands, down the Opalascent then up Allen and then out to regular TH.
      I did Allen in micro's on hard crust in a bit over 2 hours then on over McDonnel up Skylight and out by flowed lands
      One year latter I did the reverse going from Skylight to Allen in deep snow.
      No bridges solo midnight leap year hike !!

      A few mellow hikes over the years but I remember the tough ones

      Comment


      • Aspiring HP Queen
        Aspiring HP Queen commented
        Editing a comment
        I had no idea you could do Skylight to Allen - I'd have to see that on a map!

      • mastergrasshopper
        mastergrasshopper commented
        Editing a comment
        see map posted as new post
        I couldn't make any bigger
        Last edited by mastergrasshopper; 02-19-2020, 08:12 PM. Reason: remove thumb nail pic

    • #4
      This TR had me grinning ear to ear because it echoes my own sentiments. I've tagged Allen's summit 3 times now (and then there was my aborted bushwhack... ugh) and every single time I come home asking myself why the F I do this. Why keep going back? Because its rewarding. The approach along the East River and Allen Mountain trails are the some of the best miles in the northern ADK, IMO. Yeah, the ascent can kind of suck, the descent is worse (in the summer), its muddy, and its a long slog for most of us, but its a different kind of hike.
      My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

      Comment


      • Makwa
        Makwa commented
        Editing a comment
        I have that "why the F am I doing this?" moment every single time I'm driving up the Northway in the dark at 5:30 a.m. when it's -10* out. Then the sun comes up and I'm always happy I made the effort to get in the car.

    • #5
      Well, I've climbed Allen 13x, and hoping to do a 14th climb of it before this winter is out. Nope, I'm not working on the grid or anything else special.
      I think the peak is underappreciated, one of those where many people who are working on their 46 say, "I'm glad I don't have to climb this peak again!"
      I guess I can't quite put my finger on it, but Allen seems to be the "underdog" peak, and I like the underdog :-)

      One of the best views of Allen is, after crossing the Opalescent, seeing it from afar with its "head" in the clouds.

      And yes, Allen does have views!!!
      We are closer now than we were five minutes ago

      Comment


      • Aspiring HP Queen
        Aspiring HP Queen commented
        Editing a comment
        That's how I thought I'd feel about it this time as it was "just for fun" but with all the blowdown and steep slide, it really wasn't that fun for me lol

      • MtnManJohn
        MtnManJohn commented
        Editing a comment
        I think it comes down to, "To each his/her own." That is, everyone has their own sentiment about a particular peak. There's no right or wrong. Many don't like Couchie; I happen to find it a nice peak with its own unique qualities. Hike the peaks and routes to such which you feel are rewarding, not what others think are rewarding.

    • #6
      I really liked allen, like a lot of hikes i was solo on that one and part of it was the sense of challenge when you first start seeing allen when you are going through the swamp and it is still so far away. But then on the return I loved turning around and seeing it way back there, knowing how far I had just gone.
      And like FFaB said, that approach over and along the rivers could have been the most serene and self-centering early mornings I have ever had (prior to almost impaling myself on and around the damn beaver dam).
      Also, Allen seems to sit aside from everyone else giving a great distinct view of so much. And that viewpoint on the far side of the summit that looks into Panther Gorge to give a different perspective of the size of haystack and marcy? that's definitely one of my favorite views in the adk.
      And if that thunderbox right on the trail isn't memorable, I don't know what is.
      35er #3133
      46er #11779

      "Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds"
      Zarathustra

      Comment


      • Aspiring HP Queen
        Aspiring HP Queen commented
        Editing a comment
        I mean, maybe if any of the 3 times I had been able to SEE that view, I would like it more but it's been fogged over every time

    • #7
      I have yet to do it. I am guessing I will love it because I loved the trail that goes up Seward and people usually hate that trail.
      Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
      ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

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      • Aspiring HP Queen
        Aspiring HP Queen commented
        Editing a comment
        I actually like the climb up Seward - this one to me is much tougher/longer.

    • #8
      I have to imagine that Allen could be fun with other people (especially you people ), but alas, I only ever go to Allen alone.

      Why? The first time I went was in the winter, alone, and I saw no one else all day. That happened again a few years later the weekend after winter ended. I found a solo Allen to be a reasonable test of two things: 1. mental endurance, especially on the return when the flat miles start to drag on. 2. capacity to like myself enough to want to spend that much time alone (I've since spent four days in in the woods with my own company without talking to another person). Heading there again soon.
      #8335W, Solo Winter 46
      ADK Grid 309/552
      Catskill 35 (SSW) #1235
      ADK Quest #119
      NE 111 113/115

      One list may be done, but the journey is far from over...
      Half Dome, 2009

      Comment


      • #9
        My reason would be the challenges it presents (distance, ruggedness, steepness, water-crossings, etc).

        I chose Allen to be the final peak of my first round of the 46 in 2010.

        Four years later, I chose Allen to the final peak of the Four-Season Grid

        The last time I hiked Allen was in 2017 and, for variety, chose two different routes through the newly-acquired (at the time) MacIntyre East property.


        When fitness, attitude, and conditions smiled, the round-trip took me 7 hours in September and 8.5 hours in February. When all the stars weren't quite so perfectly aligned, it would take me significantly longer. The return trip taxed body and mind but such is the nature of this destination and, to some like myself, its appeal.

        The hours spent on the trails to Allen have provided me with wonderful memories; it was time well spent both with friends and just me and my thoughts.




        Allen, 2014-02-16. Pathgrinder at Allen's northern lookout.
        Attached Files
        Looking for Views!

        Comment


        • moosebeware
          moosebeware commented
          Editing a comment
          You still hiking Taras??

        • Trail Boss
          Trail Boss commented
          Editing a comment
          Short answer is: no.

          Long answer is since late 2017 I've only hiked three times and they were all short, easy hikes. Compare that to my average of two to three times a month, over 7 years, and I think that qualifies me as "no longer hiking". The needle on 426/552 isn't likely to move anytime soon; it was fun while it lasted.

        • moosebeware
          moosebeware commented
          Editing a comment
          I hope you are well, even if you aren't hiking. I do miss your trip reports, though.

      • #10
        I never enjoyed Allen in the x's I went because I was always with others who were 'on a mission' to either 46it-3x and once to check the trail condition. I was lucky tho to always have a view and good weather which may be odd...or planned Never did it in the winter.

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        • #11
          Click image for larger version

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          here is map of solo hike I did from Allen to Sky
          note stay west of evil bump at base of Allen
          Cross over to east side of McDonnel
          From McDonnel as you head to Sky there are increadible views of Sky and the spire !!!

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          • #12
            Well I would be interested if a bunch of members here wanted to plan a trip to Allen. Just sayin...

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